The number of lawsuits filed each year has been growing for Process servers decades in the United States. In some ways it is an indication that we live in a world of agreements and often times one party feels another party did not live up to their end of the agreement. The current hot area of litigation is foreclosure and that creates a greater need for process servers. It also means more people are looking to become a process server.
Foreclosure is when a property owner who has borrowed money and pledged a piece of property as collateral fails to meet their obligations and the lender takes action to seize the property. Well with the number of foreclosures exploding, process servers are overwhelmed. Here in Florida the number is shooting through the roof and every month the media brings news of the number increasing.
Service of process is whereby a plaintiff, the wronged party, notifies the defendant that they are filing a suit. That function is performed by a process server. The interesting thing is that the image of a sneaky or muscle bound guy springing into action and surprising someone with “Are you John W. Smith?” and when the person says “yes” thrusting papers in their face and saying “You’ve just been served!” is not reality. Typically a process server’s day is just knocking on a door and asking to speak to whom the papers are addressed and then handing the papers to the person. The interesting thing though is how much money they are making in this boom time. Process servers are the new hot shots with cash to burn, and sometimes they are coming from the real estate profession because it is collapsing. They are stepping from one hot profession into the next and loving it.
It is not uncommon in a foreclosure action that the lawyer/client pays $150.00 to a process server to serve the property owner. Serve fifteen to twenty a week, work from home, and you can see how a process server who has a good list of clients can have a net annual income equal to the lawyer.
So what does it take to get into this growing profession? Typically a process server must be a disinterested party to the lawsuit and over the age of 18. In order to become a process server some states have an education or examination requirement but it tends to be less than that than what is required to obtain a real estate license.
It is always interesting to see what industry or profession grows because of the collapse of another. 2008 seems to be shaping up as the year of the process server and more and more people are looking to become a process server because of it.